Day: September 21, 2009

Soft opening, big splash for season 35 of SNL

As I watched the Emmys last night, seeing Saturday Night Live's Lorne Michaels, Kristen Wiig and Fred Armisen in great seats in Los Angeles, I couldn't help but wonder, don't they need to be back in New York City on Monday morning to start putting on two (TWO) live TV shows this week? In fact, they do. There's a primetime Weekend Update Thursday to plan, in addition to the debut of Season 35 proper of SNL on Saturday with host Megan Fox and musical guest U2. That's a biggie. (Fun fact: It's also on my birthday!) They had what could reasonably be called a "soft opening" last Thursday for their half-hour Weekend Update edition. So many easy targets made themselves known in the week prior — starting with Congressman Joe Wilson's "You lie!" to Serena Williams at the US Open to Madonna's "tribute" to Michael Jackson to Kanye West's outburst — that it was both a gimme and a toughie. Some jokes were so obvious that they'd already been made many times before SNL had its chance — someone had a mashup of Kanye West interrupting Obama's speech up on YouTube within hours, for crying out loud laughing. But SNL had to do something. I thought their take on Wilson (victim of bad bathroom timing) was clever, and the speech Bill Hader gave as James Carville on the Update...

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Amy Poehler talks UCB, SNL, Parks & Rec and more “Inside the Actor’s Studio”

Amy Poehler might not have walked away with an Emmy last night for supporting actress from her work on Saturday Night Live, but she still will get an hourlong look into her comedy career tonight on Bravo, thanks to James Lipton and Inside the Actor's Studio. It's also coincidentally (or not at all coincidentally) the start of new seasons of both SNL and Poehler's sitcom, Parks and Recreation. The preview clips indicate that Poehler is serious about her comedy, and is seriously funny. Here we re-learn that Poehler joined the cast of SNL coming out of her work with the Upright Citizens Brigade, and also how much she praises Lorne Michaels. "I adore him, personally and professionally. He's a tremendous producer. He gives you rope at that show, and you can either use it to climb, or you can hang yourself with it. I don't think I'll ever really work for a better boss." Poehler also talked about joining SNL and wondering if she really belonged at first. It's not an uncommon phenomenon for anyone running in an elite circle. No matter how talented or deserving you are, when you first get accepted inside the circle, you think, how did I get here? We all know how great Poehler is now, of course, but in the beginning, she said she felt she had to act as if she deserved to be at...

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Comedians win 2009 Emmys, live to Tweet about it

I noted that legendary comedy producer Lorne Michaels had plenty to smile about last weekend during the Creative Arts Emmy awards ceremony, and during Sunday night, multiple Primetime Emmy winners showed Michaels love on the live TV. Two of those winners, in fact, were brought back from last weekend's ceremony to deliver additional acceptance speeches. But when those people are Tina Fey and Justin Timberlake, I suppose that's a nod to TV viewers? Fey and Timberlake had won the guest actress and actor awards in a comedy series for their turns on last season's Saturday Night Live. Timberlake pulled the predictable parody of Kanye West (twas ok), whereas Fey trumped him with this thanks to Michaels: "I wouldn't be here tonight if it wasn't for Lorne Michaels. Justin still would be very famous and very rich. But I would not be here. So thank you, Lorne Michaels." Timberlake followed up, saying: "You guys at SNL are the best. Thank you for letting me come and make a fool of myself as much as I am willing to do. So thank you for this. This was a huge surprise." Fey later got in a dig at her network's decision to put Jay Leno in primetime; while accepting another trophy for 30 Rock as repeat winner of best comedy series, she said NBC was kind enough to keep 30 Rock on even though it...

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